Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by spinagogue, May 1, 2016.
The Wrath of Khan
The Voyage Home
The Undiscovered Country
1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
2. Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country
3. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
4. Star Trek: First Contact
5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
7. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
8. Star Trek: Insurrection
9. Star Trek: Generations
10. Star Trek: Nemesis
11. Star Trek
12. Star Trek: Into Darkness
'Generations' is some sort of demarcation point on my list. I consider all the films above it to be films I like, whereas I consider films under it be ones I dislike. I cannot place 'Generations' itself firmly in either category.
"I like this ship!" HAHA good one Stig.
That's not weird at all. FF is usually considered one of the worst Trek films, whereas TUC is considered one of the best.
Nor did I say that it was "weird." It's just hard for me, personally, as someone who has recently watched both TUC and then Star Trek, to understand the thinking behind the OPINION that TUC is better than Star Trek. In terms of plot and watchability (which definitely includes "humor", in this case), I find Star Trek to be far superior. Not to mention production value. Again, just me. I enjoy the discussion.
I agree, STAR TREK looked far superior in production value to me, but TUC had a far better narrative to tell.
I do enjoy the narrative of TUC. The political cynicism at work btw. Chang and Cartwright is both realistic and relevant to modern times.
Oh, what the hell. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
Doesn't really matter to me after that. It's probably not the same order I had them in (at least after the first two) the last time I did this, either. Call me fickle.
Huh? Longinus wasn't comparing TUC and ST; he was comparing TUC and FF.
We are in the reboot films forum after all
Seriously though (I haven't yet got on to the TNG films):
Reading the forum descriptions, it seemed to me that I had to start this thread in either the 1-10 films forum or this one. And why not go with the newer one where the discussions about STB will take place?
To be clear, even the films I ranked the lowest on my list will still get a rewatch if they're on TV or I break out the DVDs. They're all enjoyable and have elements I appreciate, so there are no films I consider out and out "bad" in terms of films in general. Despite the overall lower quality of TFF versus other Trek films, I find the Kirk-Spock-McCoy triad and some of the humor fun to watch. Nemesis has fantastic space battles and effects and the premise of a Picard clone is not a bad one, even though it was poorly executed. Also, while my overall rankings remain roughly the same order over the years, individual films can move up and down depending on a number of factors at the time. If you took a look at a similar list soon after STID came out, for instance, it was probably ranked higher at the time.
For me, TUC is ranked so high because the Cold War plot resonates with me, having grown up when it was still an everpresent issue looming over everything from international relations to classroom emergency procedures, and because focusing on the warming of relations between the superpowers and elements within their own governments trying to sabotage it was especially relevant in 1991.
Nicholas Meyer is a terrific director and I appreciated his grounded approach to the material, focusing on relatable elements and human drama above all else, even when dealing with the utterly fantastic like exploding moons, interplanetary treaties, alien asteroid prisons, and killer cloaked ships.
You bring up production values, but I think TUC's production values still hold up very well, with the practical effects in the breach of the Enterprise's hull, the excellent battle and action scenes, and and the beautiful vistas of frozen wastelands for Rura Penthe.
There was some great humor even amid the darker tone of the film.
Most importantly, the early tension between Kirk and Spock and the depiction of the crew as flawed people with anachronistic and even outright bigoted (though often understandable given their experiences) beliefs was a refreshing change of pace after four years of early TNG's perfect and often tension-free depiction of humanity. It's taken for granted these days where flawed heroes are all the rage, but at the time, especially for Trek, it was a pretty bold choice that could have —and probably still does— alienate a lot of fans. Plus, to have a conspiracy of Starfleet personnel (working with rogue Klingons) trying to sabotage a peace initiative, including a prominent recurring character, was something that contrasted with the goodie two shoes image of TNG at the time, which I appreciated.
So, there you go, hopefully that's enough of an explanation to satisfy you about why I have my opinion.
MORE than enough
But seriously, thank you for the thoughtful reply. I don't disagree with anything you said. My only retort would be that I personally enjoy the plot (previously mentioned as factor #1) of Star Trek more than that of TUC because, to me, it's more intellectually engaging. Thinking specifically of the the time travel elements of Nero's ship and its effect in creating the alternate timeline. I recently watched the movie for probably the sixth time, and I still caught something new in that regard. Admittedly, no one has ever accused me of being a genius.
As an aside, I just love the acting of Pine and Quinto in this movie. To me, they are Kirk and Spock (again, in this movie, not Into Darkness) as much as Shatner and Nimoy were. And Spock's rage when he almost kills Kirk (stopped only, perhaps, by Sarek calling his name) is just badass.
I also don't consider any of the movies to be outright bad, except maybe Nemesis. Such a one-dimensional villain, and without any charisma (which, e.g., Khan had in abundance).
Star Trek '09 has an incredibly basic plot. Villain wants revenge because someone died, protagonist fulfills his "destiny", villain is killed in the end, hooray. I think it's more of a flaw rather than something to strongly praise in the film. The Undiscovered Country had a much better story with a moral question, a contemporary theme for 1991 that is still somewhat relevant today, a better villain, and an interesting (but somewhat predictable) twist in the third act.
Just my opinion.
I have to admit I've vacillated on the films somewhat.
STIII will always leave me with the internal struggle because it's a fun film, and enjoyable film, possibly underrated too, but I also dislike some things enough to ruin the experience for me, like the Vulcan "souls" and the entire katra ritual. The TV film mentality continues. ILM does a great job with what it had to work with, but only 120 or so FX.
STTMP is also a quandary. I have some nostalgia associated with it, despite not being overly impressed with it as a kid. I enjoyed it better when I bought it on VHS, then was down on it till the Director's Cut. I recently rewatched it on probably the biggest tv screen I've watched it on, and even with the DC I could see lots of flaws. I even almost fell asleep like I did when I was younger. Now of course, there is a germ of a fantastic tale here, but ultimately it wasn't told. So this one has fallen down my list again.
STVI This one has suffered the most to time in my opinion. It's not a bad film, but it's tepid and timid because of it's budget. It had a third of the FX that best of Both Worlds did on TV around the same period(51 to 160). By this point STNG was telling better stories than this warmed over and obvious cold war allegory.
STV You can't make a worse Trek film than this. It'll never happen. Anyone who enjoyed a Trek movie less than this is totally fine to think so, but they'll still never surpass the sheer ineptitude of this movie, in script, production, FX, and leadership. Lest you think this movie was low budget, it cost more than any other film not called STTMP until First Contact.
Generations: A very flawed movie. Not without some good moments, but to think this came out in 1994 at STNG's peak is just kind of sad. This is one of only two Trek movies I think are "bad".
Insurrection: I've shared my feelings before. It's major flaw is TV mentality, scale and a story that plays it safe. It's story is straightforward, competent but not engrossing. On the positive side, it looks great except for Zimmerman's spacecraft interiors.
ST09: Now this is more like it. The studio hired professionals. It's a movie! This movie is impervious to criticism. It scored 95% from critics and almost as much from movie goers. It's been nominated for 107 awards and won 29 of them. It's responsible for Trek's first Oscar, and it's first cinematic Writer's Guild award nomination. It's fantastic from the teaser, to opening titles to the ending credits. Are there flaws? Maybe a few small ones, but they are overpowered by sheer adventure.
STID: This movie is chock full of character moments, political commentary and kinetic action. It ups the ante for Trek films to follow with it's scale. It's opening scene, while perhaps less dramatic than ST09, is the most exploration and adventure we've had in any Trek movie. The Klingon surface sequence is easily Trek's best action sequence in history. One of the early reviews for this film called it one of the best looking technological films ever seen. At one point I probably thought the topical complexity made it the best Trek film, but in retrospect, ST09 is a more entertaining film by a hair or 3.
I'm vowing to keep this list the same till the new movie comes out.
TWOK - Brilliant, Trek movies have yet to beat this masterpiece even 34 years on. Trek's answer to Empire.
ST09 - Comes closest but not quite as brilliant as TWOK. Has definitely moved up my list since my initial viewing when it first came out, feels quite refreshing following the mess that was NEM.
TUC - Was tossing up either this one or FC in third place, in the end this won out quite simply for being the finale of the TOS movies.
FC - TNG at it's best as far as the movies go, unfortunately also the only TNG movie I haven't seen at the theatre!
TSFS - The first Trek movie I ever saw, hence why I have quite a soft spot for it. While the Genesis planet looks quite fake at times and some of the acting is wooden, it wins for having the stealing the Enterprise, Kirk and Sarek's mindmeld and McCoy and Spock on the Bird of Prey sequences.
TVH - Comedy done right. While I know it was done intentionally, this movie almost feels too 80s and dated nowadays, especially in the Market Street scene. If it wasn't for this movie, TNG, DS9, VOY or ENT wouldn't have existed, at least not as we know them now. Some might say that would have been a good thing!
GEN - The first Trek movie I saw at the theatre. Quite possibly the best-looking of all Trek films, the Enterprise D should have had a more dignified death than going down to an aging Bird of Prey, though. I know they wanted to off the D so they could introduce the E in FC, but at least have her go down fighting against a more credible threat. Kirk's death feels too cheap, too.
STID - The second TWOK rehash, at least it worked out better than in NEM. When we got a new universe I was hoping to continue on from ST09, we have a blank canvas to work with after all, and not to repeat ourselves. This movie screams 'wasted opportunity'. Pretty much everything bar the plot itself is top-notch, though. Here's hoping STB does it's own thing!
TMP - The best special effects of any Trek movie until ST09, slow moving and too pretentious, and not to mention it being a rehash of 'The Changeling', STID and NEM certainly weren't the first Trek movies to recycle storylines, heck, the first movie of all started the trend! The Director's Edition improves on the original release, it would be nice to have an HD version of the DE to watch, though.
TFF - Feels like a two-part tv movie, and looks that way, too. Nails the Kirk-Spock-McCoy trio, though, and the music by Jerry Goldsmith is as good as ever. The humour feels forced because it is, if only Shatner had stood up to the Paramount execs on that front.
INS - TNG does TFF.
NEM - TNG does TWOK. Badly. Feels like a precursor to 'These are the Voyages', ie how to end a series so badly you end up insulting the majority of the target audience. The Enterprise crashing into the Scimitar is a favourite scene of mine and feels like a payoff for having teased ships crashing into each other since FC. Telllingly, I don't think I've watched the DVD all the way through since I bought it 11? years ago. Stuart Baird shouldn't have quit his day job to direct this piece of shit. The film that Tom Hardy wishes he wasn't in.
Watching TMP director's cut on an enormous TV would be a NIGHTMARE. It's NOT EVEN IN HD. The theatrical release is.
Not even a little.
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